DETROIT (AP) — A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers are cutting back significantly on the amount of soil and nutrients eroding from fields to the Great Lakes and neighboring waterways.

The study estimates that methods such as no-till cultivation have cut in half the volume of sediments entering rivers and streams in the region, while phosphorus and nitrogen runoff are down by more than one-third.

READ MORE: Pedestrian Struck, Killed In 2-Vehicle Crash In Crystal; Distraction May Have Been A Factor

Nutrients from farms and municipal waste treatment plants are believed to be one cause of rampant algae growth in the Great Lakes in recent years.

READ MORE: Tyrone Maddox Charged With Murder In Shooting Of Woman In North Minneapolis

The study is based on a survey of farmers between 2003 and 2006.

Andy Buchsbaum of the National Wildlife Federation says the report shows progress is being made, but says more must be done to fix the algae problem.

MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: When Could You See Another Economic Relief Payment?

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)